From The Clergy Letter Project:
On 11 February 2007 hundreds of congregations from all portions of the country and a host of denominations will come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science. More than 10,000 Christian clergy have already signed The Clergy Letter demonstrating that this is a false dichotomy. Now, on the 198th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, many of these leaders will bring this message to their congregations through sermons and/or discussion groups. Together, participating religious leaders will be making the statement that religion and science are not adversaries. And, together, they will be elevating the quality of the national debate on this topic.
The Clergy Letter states:
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.
While I would like to be optimistic about the attempts of these “rational” thinking xians in their endeavor to embrace both religion and science, I looked up just how many congregations there are total in this country and found this:
There is no official directory for all the congregations in the county, so sociologists of religion have to rely on statistical estimates extrapolated from surveys. These are often disputed, and to complicate matters, thousands of new churches open each other, while thousands of others close. Hartford Institute estimates there are roughly 335,000 religious congregations in the United States. Of those, about 300,000 are Protestant and other Christian churches, and 22,000 are Catholic and Orthodox churches. Non-Christian religious congregations are estimated at about 12,000.These figures indicate that 10,000 signatures is a mere drop in the bucket — not even ten percent of the total congregations in this country have signed this letter thus far. There is such a long way to go yet. It's hard to believe in the year 2007, despite the fact that Darwin's theory of evolution is so highly regarded at our best institutions of higher learning around the world, that superstition still precedes rational thought and scientific evidence.